Of Fitz and fans, Wednesday before the Seahawks

Posted by Darren Urban on November 8, 2017 – 4:33 pm

Drew Stanton targets Larry Fitzgerald more than any other receiver when he is quarterbacking.

“Wouldn’t you throw it to Larry?” Stanton asked with a raised eyebrow.

OK, it makes sense. Fitz is kinda good. But Stanton said there are other reasons to look for Fitzgerald, and it can help the Cardinals Thursday night against the Seahawks.

“I’m not dumb,” Stanton said. “I know that we get in this stadium Thursday night, and I throw him a pass and he gets up and goes nuts, that crowd is going to respond. That’s a huge asset for us. The offense goes through him. We feed off of that.”

I can imagine Fitz after a 17-yard pickup in a big moment, jumping off the turf and putting his head back in one of those primal screams as the crowd chants “LAR-RY” over and over. The Cardinals will need some of that. They are 4-4 and a win puts them ahead of the Seahawks in the NFC West and Seattle is likely down one of their best defenders in Earl Thomas. But this is a Cards team that’s still banged up itself, missing its quarterback, and yet to shut down an offense as capable as Seattle’s. It feels like emotions will matter. (Not as much as a solid defense, but you get the point.)

— Fitzgerald, by the way, shrugged off Stanton’s suggestion. “We’ve got to get the ball to Adrian,” Fitz said. “Let him feed and we’ll get him opportunities. He’s the linchpin right now.”

Adrian is Adrian Peterson, of course, the man who had 37 carries Sunday and could get a whole heaping helping of more Thursday night. It won’t be simple, of course. The Seahawks a) know it’s coming and b) are much better up front than the 49ers.

— Peterson knows what’s up too. As he said Wednesday, it can be “famine, famine, feast” when it comes to carries. Stick with the run, he was saying. So the defense just needs to keep it close.  As Bruce Arians noted, the formula against the Seahawks is often, run, run, run to make sure that defense can’t make big plays. I don’t know if AD gets 30 carries – he’s only had back-to-back 30-carry games once in his eventual Hall of Fame career – but he’ll be used. A lot.

— Speaking of workloads, a side note: While researching my Peterson story from earlier this week I came across this one, only part of which I knew. Buccaneers running back James Wilder had an incredible 407 carries in 1984, which is one I remembered. What I didn’t know is he had 85 pass receptions that season as well. Mind-boggling.

— The Cardinals battled the Seahawks to a 6-6 tie last season in Arizona and it was a game that belonged to the Cards’ defense. The Seahawks only were able to send it to overtime because of a blocked punt. The defense earned that win against Russell Wilson and company. That’s the kind of performance that side of the ball will need again.

— It came late, but Chandler Jones got another sack Sunday, and with nine in eight games he’s on pace to beat the franchise record. Simeon Rice had 16½ in 1999.

— Fitzgerald is a key, but not just because he can catch the ball. It’s his importance in the run game, and blocking (something Fitz does not get enough credit for, and something that always seems to jump out against the Seahawks.) Fitz calls the Seahawks the toughest matchup of the year because he has to block big strong safety Kam Chancellor so often. He even said he pushes his final bench press of Seattle week to 315 pounds knowing the rugged day he is in for.

“It’s like blocking a refrigerator for 60 minutes,” Fitzgerald said. “Toradol shots and smelling salts, everything else I can muster up to try and deal with this guy.”

— With the returns of David Johnson and Carson Palmer on the back burner at best, Arians did say that the return from IR by running back T.J. Logan has not been ruled out. Logan has been out since dislocating his wrist back in early August in the Hall of Fame game. Arians said Logan, who has already been eligible to return, will finally get on the field next week to see if he can catch punts while wearing a brace.

“To see where he’s at,” Arians said.

— The offensive line finally has some long-term continuity going, and it’s showing up. It goes beyond the tangible 159 yards rushing for Peterson last week.

“They were running some tricky stuff up front and we were passing it off,” center A.Q. Shipley said. “It was cool to watch on film. That helps us moving forward because now Seattle and other teams moving forward they’re like, ‘OK, they can pick things up.’ It’s huge. We all get along very well, communication comes easy in that group. Hopefully we can stay with it.”

— Speaking of the O-line, hope you had a chance to read how D.J. Humphries’ kid kept him in the NFL.

— One of the things that has hurt the Seahawks this season is penalties. Seattle is averaging an astounding 10.2 per game. There is still half a season to go, but only one team in NFL history has averaged 10 penalties a game, the 2011 Oakland Raiders.

— The roof at University of Phoenix Stadium will be open Thursday night. Plan accordingly.

See you there.

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8 Responses to “Of Fitz and fans, Wednesday before the Seahawks”

  1. By Scott H on Nov 8, 2017 | Reply

    Yeah, I’d say being able to ride AP in this game would be a good thing. But one thing – our defense needs to keep the game from getting out of control on the damn scoreboard. We fall behind big, like we did against the last two GOOD teams and GOOD QB’s we faced, and it takes AP / the run game right out of it and forces the game on Drew Stanton. Then, he has to pass, the Seahawks know it, they ramp up the pass rush, and…..well, we know how that snowball gets rolling. I saw it up close and in person in Philly just a few weeks ago. Talk about a jail break….

    Two simple things – our offense needs to score some points early and the defense needs to not let it get out of control. As long as the game might be close enough that we can continue to feed AP, it’s winnable.

    But Russell Wilson has KILLED this team in recent games at UoP. The 6-6 tie last year aside, we’ve not beaten this team in our own home stadium since 2012. Playing here does not scare the Seahawks one bit. Why should it? They’ve owned us here. Sad, but true.

    So? Are we gonna take back our own house this time? We’ll see.

  2. By Jon on Nov 9, 2017 | Reply

    I’ll be there, cheering my guts out for the Cards and heartily booing the most irritating team in the league. Chickenhawks about to be laid out!

    I hope….

  3. By Don Short on Nov 9, 2017 | Reply

    Why is Foster kept on the ’53’, if we don’t give him a chance to play?

  4. By Hammy on Nov 9, 2017 | Reply

    Must win game in order to stay in the race! I really hope our OLine can stay pack and allow AP to run like a bat outta hell! Seattle is always our toughest opponent. If we can play every team as hard as we play against Seattle, we will never be talking about firing this coach or benching that player. New game plan: RUN the ball and go for the occasional down field pass. Get our tight ends involved and use our speed Wideouts across the field. Seattle is good but they are not unstoppable, they have their flaws and I think we match up really well with them.

  5. By Scott H on Nov 9, 2017 | Reply

    Oh, BTW, the last two GOOD teams we played with GOOD QB’s also had really GOOD defenses. And we were about as completely over-matched against those teams as any team could be.

    This has the very real potential to be another ugly beat-down of the Cardinals. Let’s not kid ourselves.

    I’m not kidding myself. I am not expecting the Cardinals to win this game. I just don’t see it. And I think Seattle kinda going flat against the Redskins last week is another factor that goes against us here. They are a team loaded with as much character as they are with talent. They are gonna want to get back to taking care of business.

    No, I don’t expect the Cardinals to just lie down and surrender, but….um, I wasn’t really expecting them to do that against Philly or the Rams, either, but it kinda looked like they did.

    So, again, we sit at .500 and about to be tested by a real team. We’ll see. Been a long time since we beat a real team. Too long.

  6. By Johnson on Nov 9, 2017 | Reply

    Just have some pride and play hard, thats all!…..Lets try NOT to lose 0-58, I will take a 9-6 game any day!

  7. By CARDS62 on Nov 9, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H I know your fear and I share it as I have seen some real poor ones from our Cardinals this year, but my thinking is we will be competitive tonight.
    1) Home game
    2) National TV very rare for our guys this season with every player watching
    3) Seattle Offense not clicking this year.
    4) I actually saw some coaching from our guys last week. It came from our DC with more blitzing so hoping for two games in a row.
    5) Hoping for no Earl Thomas.

    My biggest fear is R. Wilson running the ball on us all day or escaping the rush and hurting us with his arm downfield.

    Hoping for the best! Go Cardinals bring the effort and efficiency!

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